Support Alkaline Hydrolysis (Aquamation) availability for Ontario consumers

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Your support is needed to raise awareness to the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. 

Keep the alternative process of Alkaline Hydrolysis alive in Ontario.

Keep Alkaline Hydrolysis accessible and affordable to the consumer. 

Keep regulations fair to allow independent funeral homes the opportunity to service their communities.

Overview

Alkaline hydrolysis (AH) is an alternative to flame-based cremation and burial.  The process uses heat and a solution of 95% water and 5% alkali (Potassium Hydroxide) to reduce all organic material, leaving only the skeletal remains.

History

Alkaline hydrolysis has been used for over 24 years for the sterilization and disposition of animal mortalities at universities, research facilities, and pharmaceutical and bio-containment laboratories.

Human bodies donated to medical science have been processed by Alkaline Hydrolysis in renowned research institutions:   

·         Shands Hospital at the University of Florida - 1995 as part of their willed body program

·         MAYO Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota  - 2006 for their  donated body program

·         UCLA in Los Angeles  California – 2012 for donated body program

How AH Works

To begin the process for human disposition, the deceased is placed into a stainless steel vessel to which an alkali solution is added.  The process works by slowly circulating a heated solution of 95% water and 5% alkali around the body for an extended period of time. Alkaline hydrolysis is a proven sterilization technology in which all pathogens are destroyed, as well as all chemotherapy and embalming agents (if present in the body). Any mercury in the amalgam of the teeth (from dental fillings) is not vaporized through this process like it is with flame cremation.  These dental fillings remain unaltered, and are safely recycled to prevent release to the environment.

 All that remains at the end of the process are the final bone remains and any medical implants.  The medical implants are clean and ready for recycling.  Just as with flame-cremation, the final bone remains are processed into a fine powdered ash for return to the family in an urn

 Quick Facts

·         Alkaline hydrolysis is the preferred method of sterilization for pathogenic biological waste.

·         A recent published, peer-reviewed study concluded that alkaline hydrolysis had the least environmental impact of current funeral technologies by a large margin. 1

·         There are no direct emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses from this process. 1, 2 �

·         The process offers up to 90% energy savings when compared to flame-based cremation. 1,2

·         The carbon footprint is significantly less than the carbon footprint of traditional flame cremation or burial. 1, 2

 

Notes


1. Keijzer, Elisabeth. “The Environmental Impact of Activities after Life: Life Cycle Assessment of Funerals.” The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, vol. 22, no. 5, 2017, pp. 715–730.

2. Olson, Philip R. “Flush and Bone.” Science, Technology &Amp; Human Values, vol. 39, no. 5, 2014, pp. 666–693.



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